Change: UN ARMS TRADE TREATY and I AIN’T A GONNA STUDY WAR NO MORE!

Tell me and I’ll forget

Show me and I may not remember

Involve me and I’ll understand

 

NAVAJO SONG

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On April 2, 2013 there were loud cheers in the UN assembly chamber and delegates of some African Nations openly wept. The United Nations had adopted a treaty that will prohibit countries from transferring weapons to other countries when they know those weapons will be used to facilitate genocide or crimes against humanity.

 

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”The world has been waiting a long time for this historic treaty.. After long years of campaigning, most states have agreed to adopt a global treaty that can prevent the flow of arms into countries where they will be used to commit atrocities” said Brian Wood, Amnesty International ‘s Head of Arms control and Human Rights.

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“This shows that when members of the public come up with a really good idea that will help make the world better and get organized, they can really make difference on a global scale.”

 

More than a thousand useless words is one single word of peace. UPANISHADS

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The arms trade treaty was adopted after 6 years of UN deliberations. 155 nations voted yes, 22 abstained, and 3 nations voted no including Syria, North Korea, and Iran.

The United States national Rifle Association actively lobbied against the treaty.

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Global arms trade in conventional weapons is estimated to be 60 to 70 Billion dollars annually. This includes tanks, combat vehicles, artillery, aircraft and helicopters, warships, missiles and launchers, and small arms and light weapons.

United States exports more arms than any other nation in the world.

U.S.A. president Dwight D. Eisenhower cautioned citizens during his farewell address in 1961 . . .

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”

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Widney Brown, senior Director of International Law at Amnesty International, said “when you think of the huge economic interest and the political power in play for the big arms producers and exporters, this treaty is a tribute to both civil society who championed the idea to save lives and reduce human suffering as well as the governments who heeded that call.”

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Positive social and environmental change happens, against all odds . . . Please support the movement to transform swords into ploughshares.  

“The day will come when the people will make so insistent their demand that there be peace in the world that the Governments will get out of the way and let them have peace.” DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, 1959

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I ain’t a gonna study war no more – no more – no more . . . 

 

For more information and to support Amnesty International’s work click here on Campaign for an Arms Trade Treaty.

My wife Francis’ blog, Disappearing in Plain Sight, also has a post about child soldiers that begins with this plea – “If I could un-invent one thing, it would be the availability of small arms and light weapons.” Click here to UN-INVENT; FIGHT LIKE SOLDIERS DIE LIKE CHILDREN.           

Peace . . . Bruce

 

Notes:

 

Two photos are of the The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, created by Vietnam veteran and sculpture artist, Dennis Smith, and located near Weed, California.

The photo of the “children for peace” were taken in the mid 1980’s.

The photos of the war mural and the combat transport were taken at the Castile de Chapultepec, Mexico City, in the early 80’s.

The anti-war art painting was created by Judith Parker and photographed in Tupac, Arizona.

The artist is unknown for the top photo.

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16 thoughts on “Change: UN ARMS TRADE TREATY and I AIN’T A GONNA STUDY WAR NO MORE!

  1. well done Bruce, it is to bad that we as humans have to devote of our resources and money to killing people instead of working together in peace to make this earth the sweet paradice that it should be.

    • Thank you my friend Bruce… I’m glad you were able to read and view this. It is hard to imagine the horror of war. I think of you, cleaning up the beach to help with this paradise. To bad armies and those that take them to war couldn’t devote themselves your way too.

  2. WONDERFUL AND INFORMATIVE POST.

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.
    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

      • Thank you Francine. The first link to the Wall, The Vietnam Vetarans Memorial in Washington DC, is moving. I especially like the photo of the womens memorial with the 3 nurses, named Faith, Hope, nad Charity. I also liked the statue of the three American soldiers looking towards the wall in memory of the Americans who were killed.

        The second memorial of the soldiers coming home was also moving. I dream of the day that soldiers everywhere in the world would never have to leave home to fight wars.

        Thank you for sharing your posts about remembering the Vietnam War – lest we forget.

  3. Yes . . . I too am struck that a retired general would have a such strong conviction towards peace. He once said “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.” Maybe this is where that conviction came from.

    Canada’s retired Lt. General Romeo Daillaire led the failed peace keeping forces during the Rwanda genocide, and has similar strong convictions – it is what he calls “our responsibility to protect”. Especially the poor and the powerless. In Rwanda he repeatedly warned his UN superiors of the impending disaster, to no avail. They would not let him act to confiscate the weapons shipments. He wrote a book about his experience, called “Shake Hands With Devil.” It is a heart breaking read. The last few pages in particular indict the ‘rich worlds’ failure to act . . . in those same pages he pleads for citizens and nations to act now.

    Romeo Dailaire is now a Canadian senator, and he has spearheaded – (oops) – I mean, began The Child Soldiers Initiative, in conjunction with Dalhouse University, in Halifax. Here is the link – http://www.childsoldiers.org/ .

    I do agree, the world has along way to go – I’d only add – there is a lot of good out there too! We don’t hear much about it though, at least in the mainstream media.

    I sincerely appreciate your comments, Larry.

  4. Powerful words from president Eisenhower considering that his biggest claim to fame is as a general.
    Transforming swords into ploughshares should be the goal. However, we are not there yet. There is a lot of evil in the world and some of these people/groups/countries etc. force us to be realistic about where the world is now.

  5. Way to go! Thank you, I didn’t know what was in that treaty. Now I wonder if there are any teeth to this, since the US is the largest arms supplier in the world. What is to keep them from continuing in this way, I wonder? Notice I said ‘them’, not ‘us’. And I wonder, did the US abstain from voting? Anyone know?

    • Hi Susan. The U.S. government did vote yes to the treaty, while insisting not to include ammunitions, and also that the long list of weapons to be included in the treaty would not end with the words, “at a minimum.” ??

      Ah, the compomises we need to make in life!

      In terms of your wondering “is there any teeth to it” – well – certainly not until it comes into affect of international law – that’s after 50 nations have ratified it in their own legislatures or parliaments, and this will take time.

      Questioning the practicality of anything is normal and wise. From what I understand after hearing about the Arms Trade Treaty on the in depth CBC radio show ‘the current’, is that the treaty will have punitive tariffs and penalites, including boycotts and embargoes to those countries who don’t honour this new international standard.

      Casear Chavez and suffragettes like Nellie McClung have proven before, that the boycott is powerful indeed. 🙂

      So history has shown that change will happen, although it is often slow and impercepticle – then ‘bingo’ – one day we have a new norm. Scientists call this is called ‘punctuated equilibrium.’

      For me, since I’ve been a young teen – 43 years now – I have been a proponent of renewable energy and, by example, I’ve keenly worked to show people that Solar Power can be utilized everywhere the sun shines. In the dark nights – I sometimes despair. And then I wake up and see the new dawn.

      For me, this treaty is a part of that new dawn. 🙂

      Thank you for your stimulating and relevant questions and comments. Bruce

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